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The Rite Review Critics


Dave White Profile

WRONG! Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

The WRONG Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The Rite commits the supreme sin of making the devil dull.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    The Rite becomes more ludicrous as it goes along, with more than a few lines of dialogue from Michael Petroni's over-the-top screenplay eliciting unintended titters.

    Read Full Review

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Mr. Hopkins gives the production what he was hired for. Whenever you wonder how much longer he can trade on Hannibal Lecter's special zest, the same answer comes up-a lot.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    A flimsy, occasionally spooky demon tale.

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  • See all The Rite reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Demonic horror tale is disturbing, but no Exorcist.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this horror drama centered on exorcisms (and supposedly "based on true events") pales in comparison -- both in terms of scares and quality -- to horror classic The Exorcist. That said, The Rite does have some disturbing images and violence directed at children and women: A pregnant teen is possessed by a demon and tossed around, a boy has bruises all over his body, and a possessed priest slaps a little girl (he also attacks a grown woman). Language is infrequent but includes "f--k," "s--t" and "t-ts."

  • Families can talk about the movie's violence and disturbing imagery. What effect does it have? Is it scary or thrilling?
  • If this movie is "based on true events," how much of it would you guess was created for the sake of the story? Why might filmmakers claim that something is based on a true story if it wasn't -- or, alternately, why might they alter real events when making them into a movie?
  • How does Michael change over the course of the movie? How does he view both proof and faith?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Amid the scary/disturbing images and thematic content, the movie's main point seems to be that Michael needs to believe in the devil in order to defeat him. Michael is constantly looking for proof, which is the opposite of faith; it's an ages-old argument, but the movie doesn't really go into it in depth.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Michael signs up for seminary school to escape from his father's undertaking business. After he graduates, he plans to continue running away and avoiding things, but after his experiences in Rome, he learns to overcome doubt and believe in himself -- which lets him begin to do well for others.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: Many disturbing images, some involving children and teens. A pregnant teen is possessed by a demon; her body writhes and is tossed around a room. She eventually loses her baby in a pool of blood (hidden from view by bed sheets). A small boy has bruises all over his body, and a possessed priest smacks a little girl across the face (he also slaps around a grown woman). Also, shocking photos and recordings of people possessed by demons and some spooky sequences involving shadows and noises. Discussion of rape and incest.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Two central characters have a kind of sexual tension, but nothing occurs between them. Still, the possessed priest picks up on this and taunts them with it. Discussion of sexual violence.

  • language false3

    Language: "F--k" is heard once, and "s--t" is used a few times. Also "d--k," "bitch," "t-ts," and "screw you."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: While in Rome, the hero spots a McDonald's and buys a coffee. Another character rebukes him for it and takes him for a "real" coffee.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A priest mentions that he's trying to give up smoking and pops a nicotine pill (or possibly gum).